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How to treat dry exterior posts

FarRed's picture

I'm in the middle of having my south-facing 2nd floor deck renovated.  The railing will be screwed to wood posts at either end and also secured the middle post (see photos).  Because the posts are old and dried, cracking, etc., due to the harsh Arizona sun, the plan was to replace the two 4-foot posts.  We just realized the posts are one piece with the posts below, so can't replace it without a LOT more expense.  This leaves me with treating the existing posts.  The bottom section is fine, just the upper that gets the weather abuse.  Is there a way to fill, seal, or cover these to withstand the elements?  I haven't decided on aluminum or wood railing.  Thanks for any advice.

Stucco. (post #215947, reply #1 of 8)

Wrap the posts and stucco them.

Thanks.  Excuse the rookie (post #215947, reply #2 of 8)

Thanks.  Excuse the rookie questions, but I've never stucco'd.  Wrap, like Tyvec?  The stucco doesn't need lath?  

DIY (post #215947, reply #3 of 8)

This may not be a good "do it yourself" project. Wrap refers to the paper, normally two layers of light weight building paper, and the lath, somewhat like chicken wire. If you do want to try it yourself, use expanded metal lath with the openings facing up to hold the mud. You use corner beads at the corners. You can probably get some help from a big box store. You should be able to find a handy man type who can do it for you. 

I suggested stucco because of the two posts at the end of the stuccoed walls. These should have been stuccoed when the house was built. If you don't mind spending some money, get the posts below, the beam, the fascia, and the soffit under the deck stuccoed. This will really improve the looks of the house.

You probably can slice the (post #215947, reply #4 of 8)

You probably can slice the posts off at floor level and replace them.  You would need to be sure that the new railing was firmly attached to the house at each end, so it wouldn't pull loose from lateral force.

(Are you planning to remove the two walls that are visible, or leave them in place?  If you're leaving them, what is their construction?)


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Very simple fix and cheap (post #215947, reply #5 of 8)

Very simple fix and cheap too. Go to your local home center and buy 3- 4' PVC post sleeves and caps. Cost you less than $50.00 and take about 20 minutes.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

Never heard of such a (post #215947, reply #6 of 8)

Never heard of such a thing.  Thanks.  In the meantime, the contractor took it upon himself to use the same elastomeric mastic for sealing the deck material to paint the posts.  A little annoyed at first, I figure that if this can stand up to the same abuse as an adobe roof, this may work.  If it doesn’t work, I’ll check out the PVC. 

I'm going to say the mastic (post #215947, reply #7 of 8)

I'm going to say the mastic is a bad plan. Nothing last forever and the mastic will degrade on the top faster than the sides. Water will get inside and won't be able to escape. do youselfa favor and put the sleeves on now and be done with it. Next time you notice will be too late.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Weatherables...

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

Keep in mind that this is in (post #215947, reply #8 of 8)

Keep in mind that this is in Aridzona.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville